Letters from Tahrir: From revolutionary euphoria to disappointment and frustration

скачать Автор: Razeq, Samihia - подписаться на статьи автора
Журнал: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 10, Number 2 / November 2019 - подписаться на статьи журнала

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30884/jogs/2019.02.08

In this section we publish a few letters received between June 5, 2013 and December 31, 2014 from our Cairo correspondent, the bright representative of the Egyptian revolutionary youth Samihia Razeq. A total of 15 letters were published (see Grinin, Issaev, Korotayev 2016: Appendix). In this appendix, we publish only four of them, keeping their numbers.

№ 9


It's very calm now Prof. Andrey, as everybody is getting ready for the 30th of June, when all will take to the streets to demand Morsi to step down, after gathering more than 7 million signatures for Rebel against the MB & Morsi...

Also, the MB are trying to remove all high officials, like the director of the Opera, to replace them with MB, along with a Nour/Salafi Party representative in higher house of parliament to abolish all bale dancing. So all reputed musicians, artists, writers, novelists, etc. are protesting & resigning from their posts, & holding demonstrations... As well as the judges holding protests & sit-ins against Morsi & the MB, for the judicial law being discussed in Parliament that stripes the judiciary out of its independence, to be able to substitute the old regime judiciary to a MB judiciary. There's also the law of NGOs being discussed in parliament, that many inside 7 outside Egypt are opposing because it puts many constraints on the freedom & independence of NGOs in Egypt!

Many revolutionaries, like Ahmed Duma, are being phrased against with strange lawsuits & jailed. While several old regime personnel, like former housing minister Ahmed Al-Maghraby, are being freed from jail while paying fines.

The only thing that seems to gather the MB regime along with the opposition, is the foreign threat of Ethiopia building the dam that will hugely lessen the amount of water that would flow into the Nile, causing a very dangerous shortage of drinkable water in Egypt.

We are planning on holding a similar sit-in, as the 18 days for Mubarak, from the 30th of June, which is expected to be a decisive day for the revolution...



Dear Prof. Andrey,

I'm happy of course, but sadness & anger at Western media coverage & analyses nearly kills my happiness.

They call it a military coup! They're arguing stopping assistance to Egypt as a consequence, as if Egyptian resources can't help it be self-sufficient wit5h itself. They talk as if they're blind to all the truly millions in number who demanded to oust this elected out of "rigged elections" unlike Western media calling it free & fair, extremist figure, who's just a puppet of the Great Khomeiny of the MB Mohamed Badei!

There was no other solution Professor, but for the army to intervene, & unlike in 2011 (when it was really a coup d'etat since the military ruled the country, & frankly the West supported that!), it immediately turned authority to the rightful civilian; head of the constitutional court, which was the demand of all revolutionaries & the people from the beginning, in fact since Mubarak was ousted. I can truly claim that the revolution in Egypt didn't succeed but until yesterday, when the rightful path of the head of the constitutional court holding authority for an interim period until a new constitution is drafted, & new parliamentary & presidential, "truly free & fair" without military & MB overseeing the rigging of such pleased by Western interests elections!

MB militia, with Hamas fighters coming by the help of MB leaders started on a surge killing demonstrators in the streets with their sophisticated weapons & machine guns,
I attended myself one of such fights, & around 8 was killed in just the fight I attended, since we didn't have anything to defend ourselves but some rocks & Molotov. Many more others got killed by their militia in other places & governorates, including my hometown Alex. Just the day before yesterday, I returned home, to find around 9 young youth in my area got killed by their machine guns (of course such incidents are never told in Western media!), 'cause they were demanding them to go away from their area & not call for Morsi & the MB t5o stay in power in their own local neighborhood, so they simply worked their machine guns against them! Just yesterday I walked in the funeral of three young youth, one of them only 21 years, my heart burst & I cried till my eyes burst out
of their sockets, just to see their mourning poor families who I live in their area, this of course didn't make me feel real happiness yesterday after Sisi's statement!

In fact, even yesterday, 16 people got killed by MB militia in different governorates across Egypt, especially the poverty-stricken little-secured Upper Egypt were Islamist extremists are concentrated!

And then Western media after all this are sad 'cause the military intervened & gave power to true civilians! Who has the power to protect civilian Egyptians against MB militia & Hamas but the military?! Even the military & police themselves are not fully armed ahead of MB weapons, several (of course less in number than civilians) police & military officers got killed by MB & Hamas machine guns!

I'm just infuriated! I really wanna blow up all Western media that makes the success of Egyptian revolution after 3 years of struggle seem as if it's a crisis & failure to so-called democracy, that's in fact only a theocratic religious regime by a group that hijacked the beginning of the revolution with the help of SCAF, & serves the interests of US, Israel, & the West in the region, to deserve being labeled a democracy by their catastrophic media, I can't believe this is happening to spoil our happiness for the final success of our genuine revolution in Egypt! But we will teach the West what true freedom & democracy is against their flawed neo-colonizing democracies, after the success of our world-historic-revolution in Egypt...

Take care Professor,



Dear Prof. Andrey,

Well I cannot tell you exactly what's the circumstances after the removal of the MB regime. As the month of Ramadan started just days after this, & usually because of this month of fasting, with the extreme hot weather, people get so calm & dull, & not much takes place!

Although still I hear in the news that MB members & their supporters set off some clashes from time to time with people in different places, which causes a number of casualties...

And as it seems, Sinai is raging, 'cause it's the base of extremist armed groups, including Hamas members, where they are mounting attacks & shootings against the police & army there, & several people, whether from the armed groups or from the police & army, get killed nearly everyday!

We're waiting till Ramadan ends to see how things will wrap up...

Kindly yours,


On Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM: Incidentally, Samiha, how do you feel now? Are you as optimistic as you were 10 days ago?


Dear Prof. Andrey,

Yes, in my work I'm doing a small research about Pakistan & its relations with the US & Taliban. I'm also currently doing my Master's research on the political culture of revolutionaries in Egypt, comparing it to the overall public political culture...

By the way, in these last 5 days things started to spiral on in Egypt. I'm starting to really get worried that we are returning back to military rule!

As you might already know, Sisi has called upon the Egyptian people to demonstrate in the streets last Friday to give him a mandate to use more force in countering the MB violence. Thousands, or maybe even millions, of people took to the streets on Friday approving this. And in the same night, over 80 people who support Morsi got killed by the police!

I didn't participate in the demonstrations, because I didn't feel comfortable to give a mandate of force demanded by a military general, even if he's the minister of defense, I thought that Adli Mansour, the civilian interim president, is the only official who has the right to give speeches to the Egyptian people & ask such a crucial thing. And I feel worried that this is a starting sign that the true ruler of Egypt is Sisi, & this might mean that we returned to military rule again! And the bigger problem is that he's got public support, & I feel most Egyptians aren't aware of the danger of military rule, which is the same danger of theocratic rule (such as the MB's)...

Revolutionary youth are getting divided in this issue. Especially that a big number of civilians (whether they were armed or not) were killed. And some even say that MB militia is the one responsible for killing those pro-Morsi demonstrators, to regain sympathy from the people & the international community...

Really, things are getting crazy, & I don't know which side to believe anymore! Everybody seems to be lying, or else the stage has only become a conflict between military rule & MB rule, & revolutionaries have no part to play in this fiasco!



Dear Prof. Andrey, how do you do? I hope you're doing great...

I'm so sorry for my late reply, as I was in a depression mood for over three weeks & I didn't open my email.

I can tell you that the situation is really depressing! We have a curfew now everyday from 7 pm till 6 am, 'cause MB are spreading chaos & violence everywhere now, & a few people (whether MB, police, or ordinary civilians) are killed now everyday in some part of Egypt. But the most violent part, as always, is Sinai, where extremists & Hamas members are waging revenge & killing police & military soldiers there everyday through their violent guerrilla war techniques...

But as you might already know, that's not only what is depressing. What's also depressing is that it seems like the old regime is coming back (or I hope I'm wrong in that!)... Mubarak was out of jail a few days ago, & everywhere in the streets people are talking about how the MB were actually the party responsible for all the violence since 25th January 2011, & that Mubarak & SCAF & the police & military are innocent of all the violent crimes! They're talking as if the true revolution was only on June 30th, while 25th January was only a conspiracy made by the MB to reach power! It's as if the old regime & the military has used & made advantage of MB failure & killings during their one year rule, to make people believe that MB are actually responsible for all violent events since 25th January, & that Mubarak & SCAF are innocent of any violence & killings during their rule!

MB figures are being put into jail (& I'm happy about that, 'cause they're responsible for violence since over a year ago), but what worries me is that until now, no figures from the old regime of Mubarak, nor military figures from SCAF rule are being also put to jail for their causing of violence, corruption, & killings during their rule, so that they face justice as well like MB figures!

Ans as if that's not enough, now the international community has started to stop sending any aid or having trade deals with the Egyptian government, claiming that they refuse what took place in Egypt, 'cause it's a coup d'etat!

I really hope we're not truly heading back to square zero with the old regime again into place!



Dear Prof. Andrey,

Well, I can't tell you exactly what's happening on the streets now in Egypt, 'cause I became out of the game being played here between the military & the MB!

I don't participate in demonstrations now, as all demonstrations taking place these days are by MB & their supporters, who ask for the return of Morsi. I can't tell you the exact sizes of those demonstrations, 'cause Egyptian media right now are split into two polar sides: media that's very biased against MB & very supportive of every measure taken by the military & the current government (most TV channels); & media that's very biased to MB (only Aljazeera channel, since the other religious channels have been forcefully closed by the current government), so the former minimizes the sizes of demonstrations against reality, & the latter maximizes them against reality as well!

Like I told you before, my worry & dissatisfaction towards the current regime increases everyday, as I feel it more & more heading towards the former regime of the military rule (including Mubarak's)... For ex., the constitutional drafting committee is hardly representing the whole society (especially Islamists, as there's only one Islamist Salafi in it, & this disregards the fact that a sizable portion of the Egyptian society is Islamist, whether we like them or not). The head of the committee was appointed to be Amr Mousa, who's a former foreign minister for Mubarak, & who's statements since before the revolution were all against revolutionaries, & sided with the former regime. Also, the military & police reaction to MB demonstrations use excessive violence (to the extent that Mohamed ElBaradei, the former IAEA secretary-general, & a prominent opposition figure during the former regime, & who's considered a liberal & against religious ideologies, has resigned from the post of vice president in the current government, in opposition to this excessive violence), & there are many casualties from the MB (which is deliberately being hidden in media reports. But on the other side, there are many casualties as well from police & army officers who get killed by the weapons that MB owns, especially in the Sinai region, almost every day army officers are killed by terrorist attacks, claimed to be made by radical Islamists & Hamas members as a support for MB. Actually, you can say that Sinai now is in a real war between the army & radical Islamists!

Also, what makes me worry about the current government, is its excessive crackdown on MB figures & members, who are being put in jail increasingly everyday, & their money expropriated, while at the same time, most, if not all, former Mubarak regime figures & police officers accused of killing demonstrators in the beginning of the revolution, have been sentenced as innocent or released from custody for paying bails. And although their releases took place during the rule of SCAF & after that the rule of the MB, but it's been expected that since the current government should be truly revolutionary & applying the will of the 25th revolution, it should've made revolutionary trials (away from normal judiciary trials that cannot indict those officials with the ordinary law) to indict those former officials & put them in jail or execute them, along with its crackdown on MB former officials accused also of corruption & killing demonstrators. But the judiciary & government are only cracking down on MB, while leaving former regime officials on the loose, to the extent that it seems as if the current judiciary (which mostly have been appointed during the Mubarak rule) are making revenge on behalf of the Mubarak & military regime against MB, & nothing is being done for the sake of the 25th January revolution!

Also, I'm so worried from what I hear in the streets & in transport. It seems like most of the people are so affected by the current media crackdown on MB, that they all are demonizing MB, while saying that Mubarak & the military are innocent of any corruption or killing demonstrators during Mubarak & SCAF rule, & the MB was the one killing demonstrators so that people blame it on Mubarak & later SCAF! And people are also starting to say that "democracy" has brought us MB, which is worse than Mubarak & military rule (a judgment they make not because it's really worse, but because the media opposition & demonization of the MB during their rule was far greater than its tender opposition of Mubarak & SCAF during their rule), so they conclude that military rule & dictatorship has proved to be actually better than democracy! And now, there are big campaigns taking place to call for Abd AlFattah AlSisi to run in the next presidential elections! And there is also widespread orientation towards liking AlSisi to Gamal Abd AlNaser (the first military president to rule Egypt after its independence & end of royal regime in 1952, who was greatly famous for his socialist policies that greatly improved the living standard of the poor & peasant & workers, as well as adopting policies to encourage the unity of Arab countries in one country, & famous for his powerful foreign policy against Israel & the US, but on the other hand, also famous on his hard & intense crackdown on any opposition against him, including the MB, & widely cracking down on freedom, stifling democratic development, & violating of human rights), AlNaser still has great popularity among Egyptians, & they are starting to frame the character of AlSisi as close to the symbol of Abd AlNaser.

So, although the 25th January revolution in 2011, has taken place against military rule (Mubarak was the last military ruler of this regime that lasted from 1952 to 2011), the public is sadly enthusiastic & favoring of military rule now, because of the great mistake of allowing the theocratic force of the MB to participate & win the first elections after the revolution, instead of only limiting running candidates to truly civilian & democratic forces, to ensure the success of the first government after the revolution!

And sometimes, I get the idea, that all those three years since 2011, have been merely a smart game played & won by the military against the revolution, to end up in the people themselves asking for the return of military rule. After the failure of the rule of SCAF, which has tried to maintain the interests of the old regime, the military made sure that the people end up choosing between only a military man (Ahmad Shafik) or a MB man (Mohamed Morsi), because SCAF & the military knew that either way political rule will turn back to them. Because they knew that the MB will fail in power, & only work on increasing religious divisions among Egyptians (which Egyptians will adamantly refuse), added to that the media demonization of the Morsi & the MB; so it would ultimately end to the people taking to the streets & asking the army to return back & remove the MB!

Only revolutionaries, who are always a minority percentage of the public in any revolution, realize that the success of the revolution cannot be achieved without a third party, that refuses both the military & the theocratic MB rule... But this third revolutionary force has not come to reality on the streets yet...



Dear Prof. Andrey,

It's sad to know that you're not coming to Egypt soon...

Well, the situation in Egypt right now cannot get any much worse, in fact, I can't remember a time when the country was in so much oppression!

Some weeks after I last met you the police & military started cracking down on all opposition, not just MB. I was arrested by the police, among other girls, while demonstrating against putting an article in the constitution that allows for holding military trials for civilians. Several liberal & socialist revolutionary youth leaders were arrested (although they played a part in the revolutionary wave against Morsi!) & were sentenced for more that 3 years in jail, & a very huge fine.

Many voices are calling now for Sisi to run for presidency, including Moussa (the head of the constitutional committee), & the media is gradually increasing its propaganda saying that his presidency is a national security obligation now!

After AlMansoura bombing last week, which I think is orchestrated by the military regime itself to give it an unrestrained violent hand in completely gaining control over all political forces in the country & silencing any opposition, under the guise of "the national war against terrorism", several civilians are killed by the police during MB demonstrations!

Worst of all is the situation in universities, which has reached a level of unprecedented oppression in the history of Egypt. Several students have been killed "inside" their university campuses by the police, while demonstrating! And the police now storm lecture-halls while professors are giving their lectures & arrest university students (including girls) while they're having their lectures, claiming that these students are "terrorists"!

The problem is that most Egyptians seem to agree with what's going on given the great effect of media propaganda on the minds of the people now. All Egyptian channels, governmental & private, are launching a war-mongering style propaganda against terrorism (which not only includes MB, but also civilians & students supporting MB, & all other opposition & revolutionary movements that oppose both military & MB rule), & is mobilizing the people behind the military, portraying it as the only savior of the Egyptian people in this dark age of terrorism Egypt is going through!



I'm not concerned much whether AlSisi becomes president or not, in all circumstances Egypt is in fact ruled by the military institution, & as far as it seems, it will still be ruled by it for some years ahead. In any case, the military will make sure that any president coming to power will have no true control over the supreme rule of the military in Egypt; such as the case in Iran, the president can't have control over the supreme rule of the Iranian Revolution Guardian.

Since the beginning of the revolution events, the military has shown much flexibility & wit to prove that it might have the ability to resist any predictable waves of revolution & maintain its power in the foreseen years...

First; although Mubarak had much authoritarian power, not only with his police force & business connections, but also in the military, as soon as the revolution started, military leaders & generals had much wit to sacrifice Mubarak & push him towards giving up his presidency, in order to downscale the revolution to be only against the "figure" of Mubarak, instead of naturally being against the whole military regime of 1952. It also succeeded (with the help of MB by promising them to give them some power) to instill the image of the military being the "protector" of the revolution, because it sided with the demands of the people instead of Mubarak & spread this rhetoric in the media & mosques (by the help of MB).

Second; because the military council was the direct governing body at the time, people demonstrating against certain policies & making demands started demonstrating against the military council, which was unacceptable to the military because it's not a civilian institution that would bear any political opposition, so direct clashes & confrontations started taking place between the military & revolutionaries. The situation escalated for a whole year, & military rule became much unpopular among ordinary people in Egypt, which started to turn the revolution again into its true course, which is demanding the fall down of the military regime itself of 1952. But before falling into the pit, again the military showed its flexibility & wit when it chose to give up its rule to an elected president.

Third; given that the only two organizational & financial powers in Egypt are the military & the MB, it was expected that the elections would end up in a close result between a candidate from each. With all the rage & dissatisfaction with the military council & rule at the time, it was very smart of the military to give up presidency to the MB, instead of a military personnel which would've only increased the rage against the military in the streets, which might have escalated into events that would force the military to give real concessions to civilian institutions! I would guess that the military knew, & planned, for MB rule not to last more than a year or two (I thought that too at the time when Morsi won elections). But you can't say that what the military succeeded to do of orchestrating with the different state institutions (that have long held vested interests with the military, if not controlled by it, for over 60 years now) to not cooperate with the MB government & fail determinedly in delivering services & basic needs to the people, along with the media waging a war against MB government "failure" & raising popular anger against it, is the only reason why MB rule ended so soon, but MB true failure in cooperating with other political forces, especially revolutionary forces, to pass this critical period, & their inattention to revolutionaries demands & dissatisfaction, & their using the police to stalk revolutionaries, arrest them, & sometimes kill them, has left the revolutionaries & political activists no choice but to demand the stepping down of Morsi.

Fourth; the military again rode the horse after the removal of Morsi, like it did after Mubarak, again spreading the rhetoric of it being the "protector" not only of the revolution, but also of Egypt & its people from terrorism & terrorists like the MB. And this time, the military has a very high degree of popularity such as it has never had since the start of the revolution. It has also spread the rhetoric (through the media) that if people want civilian rule, they've already tried it (the MB rule, which I consider theocratic, not civilian, rule) & it was a catastrophe, so after 3 years, experience proved that the only suitable rule for Egypt is a military authoritarian rule! And given how the people became so fed up with insecurity, politics, demonstrations, etc. this rhetoric rings the bell with them...

So, yes, the military has played it smart all along... And now, according to the constitution: military trials for civilians are allowed (although the article put it in a twisted way, by saying that they're banned except when causing damage to the military, which can be easily claimed against any civilian), the defense minister should be chosen by the military itself not the civilian president (if there ever will be), & worst of all the military institution is allowed to make trade deals with any sector of the economy owned by the government, & its budget is separated from the general state budget & cannot be revised or monitored by a civilian institution (the parliament). And this means that all the business corruption that has been going on with the military leaders since long will be protected (the military institution is the richest & biggest institution in the Egyptian economy). And as long as the military in Egypt maintains the biggest political & money power in the country, nothing will change...



Thank you Prof. Andrey for asking. I'm fine thank you. The anniversary of the 25th January was really depressing & nearly fatal!

For the 3rd anniversary, this is the 1st time that in the day of 25th January we were unable to enter Tahrir Square! We're used to make marches in the anniversary from around Cairo to Tahrir calling for the fall of the regime (SCAF in 2012 - MB in 2013). This time, police & army forces shot us immediately with tear gas & live shotguns "before" starting our march! So we were dispersed, & went to Tahrir in separate groups while trying to avoid police & army personnel spread everywhere so they wouldn't arrest us. And when we became in Ramsis & Talaat Harb (the closest areas to Tahrir) & tried to gather ourselves again to enter Tahrir with a march, they immediately shot us with live gun (live gun was used on that day more than tear gas & plastic bullets!). I was nearly killed this time, but a Christian revolutionary guy saved my life, by dragging me & making me literally fly away from the area. Even hospitals this day were refusing to open their doors to us!

Tahrir got filled to the brim with military & AlSisi supporters who were completely surrounded & protected by military forces, & people there were "celebrating", singing, & dancing in a musical festival, while police & military forces were shooting at us & killing us in nearby streets, so we wouldn't have a chance to get near to Tahrir, the Square were revolutionaries sacrificed their blood for freedom!

Hundreds, & maybe over a thousand, of revolutionaries got arrested that day, & over 100 demonstrators got killed! While military regime supporters were dancing
in Tahrir!



Thank you Prof. Andrey,

I'm fine & depressed as always these days!

As you might already know, nothing is going on now in the streets, & the military regime seems to have everything in its hands & well in control!

As far as I see on Aljazeera (I don't know how much of its coverage is true anyway, as we know, it's used to saying lies a lot), MB demonstrations are still taking to the streets everyday (but I've never seen one for myself!).

As for us, revolutionaries, we pretty much doing nothing except ranting & crying on facebook! More than half of the revolutionaries are in jails, & those who were released have bails to pay of hundreds of thousands pounds (even though most of them are college students who don't even have jobs to pay their bails from their salaries!). And our charismatic famous youth leaders are all in jail as well! And many torture scandals are being uncovered from time to time against political detainees. So we haven't got even enough will or power to make a simple demonstration in the street, & even if we do one, it wouldn't be organized well, as all good demonstrations organizers have been targeted by the regime & put in jail!

Just the day before yesterday, I joined a demonstration as a memorial for the 9th of March 2011 incident of military & thugs attacked & dispersed revolutionaries holding a sit-in in Tahrir, & several girls were arrested & sent to military prisons, & virginity tests were made on them (meaning that they were raped in another way). We were only like 50 persons in Talat Harb Square, we didn't even dare to think to go to Tahrir!

We saw a big poster of AlSisi hanging behind, calling him to be our savior president, so we though of throwing it away. Before in other demonstrations, when we were of bigger numbers & more organized we always used to throw away any military/MB supporting posters in the way of our march, & it was always something easy & nothing happened because of it.

This time, when we just headed to the poster, with the intent of throwing it away, эa couple of thugs (I don't know if they're some poor street vendors of this place, or thugs sent from the police) started fighting us with knives & broken glass! And because we didn't have anything to defend ourselves with, & our number was small, & there were no good organizers with us, we just ran away. I told others with me that we should fight them back with rocks, or go demonstrate someplace else, but several boys shouted at me & said no we're going home! We don't want any more of us put in prison or dying, it's enough the number of revolutionaries who are already in jail!

I really got mad that day, against the boys with us, because before we've never been so surrendering, weak, & coward! Before we faced live gun-shots from military forces with their tanks, & stood headfast in our place, fighting back with whatever we can put our hands on around us in the streets. We were never afraid of some of us being killed or detained. We very well left our house for any demonstration or event, knowing & ready for not returning back home either because of being killed or arrested!

One revolutionary old man (it's an exception here to find someone old & supporting our revolution) just told me & a group of other youth revolutionaries, this is a clear generational conflict, this revolution is a fight between the old generation supporting the military rule & the new generation striving for a new civilian democratic regime that would give us a reason not to run away in decaying small boats, risking to die drowning, across the Mediterranean into the northern lands that respect human dignity & freedom, & provide him with a welfare prosperous life. He said that we should be patient & persevere in changing the country, 'cause this revolution will not really succeed & show its fruits until the whole of this patriarchal despot old generation is long dead in their graves!

The remaining youth revolutionaries now, who have not yet been put in graves or in imprisonment, have lost all that we had before of revolutionary spirit & resolve to win this struggle for freedom...



Dears Prof. Andrey & Prof. Jack,

Thank you so much Prof. Jack for your elaborate answer & explanation to my question. This confusing image of US supporting democratic waves of revolution this decade, while at the same time committing some of the most barbarous violations of human life & dignity, in nuclear-bombing Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq.. etc. has been really confounding me, but your explanation sheds a lot of light on putting a logical analysis to its foreign policy.

By the way, I would like to add that even though I don't find those pamphlets of how to resist police violence mysterious to find across countries, I've never seen such a pamphlet/paper myself here in Egypt. I remember that the only way we knew of some tricks to resist tear gas & other violent police equipment, was first & most through experience itself. We first tried pepsi cola, but we found it not working much & it makes oneself so sticky, so we tried vinegar, then we found out that onion works better. And later on, during SCAF rule, the police imported more lethally advanced tear gas bombs, so we kept on trying new things, & of course youth revolutionaries working as pharmacists helped a lot.

The only thing I remember being spread amongst us, was the days before the 25th January 2011, on facebook, many Tunisians wrote comments on Egyptian opposition pages especially "We Are All Khaled Said" page & "April 6 Youth Movement" page, & were talking about the ways they found to work better in resisting police violence.

As for the "Force" you mentioned Prof. Andrey, which I assume would be called "AlQuwa" here in Egypt; I've never heard of such thing during my sit-in in Tahrir for the whole 18 days before overthrowing Mubarak. Neither later.

The people who well organized Tahrir Square during the 18 days were the MB. That's why those 18 days were the most effective & organized sit-in ever made until now throughout the revolution.

As for the people standing in the front rows fighting directly the police & military forces with rocks, cocktail Molotov, & sometimes rarely plastic bullets (as they can be easily purchased in slum areas in Cairo), they're very normal courageous youth. I stood with them in the front many times myself, but since guys prohibit girls from throwing rocks & stuff ('cause they see this as inappropriate for girls, & that it's only men's job!), I suffice by standing in the 2nd or 3rd row to spray salt solution on their faces so they could resist tear gas.

The only time such resistance was really organized was during MB rule, when it became known that some revolutionaries came up with the idea of forming "Black Bloc" groups, similar to the experience in Europe during the 1960's, in order to protect demonstrators & fight the police or MB when they attack us. As well as bombing (with primitive small bombs) shops that belong to MB after those shops are closed, so nobody would get hurt.

I've tried to join those groups, but I found it so illusory! All the boys were claiming that they belong to this illusive body of Black Bloc (as they found it something worth being proud of & to attract their girlfriends!), so when I asked some of them, they told me this is not for girls! Then I asked others & they told there's no such thing as Black Bloc, this only an imaginary thing that the MB regime came up with as an excuse to arrest as much a number of revolutionaries as possible (& indeed hundreds of youth revolutionaries were arrested with the charge of belonging to the BB). Another guy told me that this BB idea is kind of coordination between revolutionaries & the police itself (who are normally dissatisfied with their new MB leaders, after being controlled for decades by the military regime) to try & attack the MB until their rule falls down. Finally I asked some third group of boys, & they agreed to make me join them in their BB group!

I got so excited, & I though I'm going to get trained for resisting police force, & make some bombing operations in shops at night. But after several meetings that we held together to talk & prepare for what we're going to do, I found out that it's all just kids games! And that everyone is trying to boast as being a member of BB himself, but all is really just like a fashion mark, everyone is trying to stick his name with it, without it even existing for real!

Another group of boys that do so well resisting police & military violence are the football teams Ultras groups. Those Ultras groups are used to fighting with the police (just for the fun of it) before the revolution, during football matches. They used their experience in fighting police forces during the revolution, but this time for a cause.

Last thing, which is the most sorrowful group of all, are the guys that come from slum areas, including street children. Those group of guys I always find in the front lines while resisting police & military violence, & I'm not surprised. As most of the young guys living in slum areas are living in extreme poverty & miserably violent conditions infested with crime & chaos, & it seems like they vent off all their anger at the unjust political, social, & economic conditions that they had to endure since coming into this life, through the counter-violence they use against the police, & they really don't care if they die, 'cause they don't have a life to lose anyway!

I remember during of those fights, I saw one of those street children, around 11 years old maybe, standing beside me gathering rocks to throw at the MB & Hamas members who were shooting at us with machine guns from inside their headquarters. I caught this boy & tried to drag him away, but he resisted my hand very forcefully & cried at me saying: "Leave me alone, I want to die!"

Sorry to write so much, but I just want to give you the whole picture & how that all this talk of foreign planned & plotted violence against oppressive security forces conspired by international networks is just rubbish talk!